Natural Vs. Synthetic Fragrance

Natural Fragrance

You know how when you buy a new candle that’s your favorite scent and you get home and light it up, but then it’s so strong it actually gives you a headache?  Or your favorite shampoo that strangers can smell from a mile away, or even that sunscreen that literally smells like a beach in a bottle?   Guess what?  Most likely, all of those products are made with synthetic fragrances and while they may smell good, they usually smell a lot stronger (hello headache) than they should and they could be bad for your health.  Just because something smells good, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. 

What is synthetic fragrance? 

Synthetic fragrances are man-made. They are created to reproduce natural essences and scents.  Many common household products and personal care items contain fragrances and most are synthetic.  Think:  Lotions, air fresheners, candles, detergents, hair productsdeodorant…  Many synthetic chemicals in fragrances are petroleum-based and can be harmful to human health. Chemicals found in fragrances include phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens benzophenone and styrene. In addition, some children and adults have allergic reactions to fragrance chemicals.  On top of this, in the US, because fragrance components are considered a trade secret, companies are not required to list all their fragrance ingredients.  Instead, brands are free to just list “fragrance” as an umbrella term without having to disclose what ingredients actually make up the fragrance.  This is usually where unsafe chemicals are hidden and as the consumer, you have no way of knowing what the “fragrance” is actually made of.  No bueno. 

What is the difference between “Unscented” and “Fragrance Free”?

A “fragrance-free” label indicates that the product contains no added fragrance chemicals. An “unscented” label means that fragrance chemicals may have been added to mask odors. Make sure to do your research when looking for “fragrance free” or “unscented products.   

Why natural fragrance is the way to go. 

Natural fragrances are usually much safer than synthetic ones.  Most natural products honestly disclose each ingredient.  Derived from botanical sources like leaves, flowers, seeds, bark, saps and fruit, the essential oils used in natural fragrance offer an array of physical, mental, and emotional benefits. 

While synthetic fragrances usually have a stronger scent, natural fragrance can be more subtle-in a good way.   

All of the products that Goddess Garden sells that are scented, are scented with all natural essential oils.  Lavender is the primary scent you will find in most of our products including our mineral sunscreen collection (excluding our Sport mineral sunscreens which are unscented).  It is subtle, yet relaxing.  Our new aromatherapy candles are also scented with natural essential oils such as roseyuzu and lavender.  They are not overpowering and smell amazing and not chemically (is that even a word?) like a lot of other candles out there. 


At the end of the day, we all want to know what is in our products and when choosing a product made with “fragrance”, you really don’t know what you are getting.  We prefer to know exactly what is in our products and especially what they are scented with. 

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